Essentials on Home Staging

It has become a common practice in real estate to enlist a professional stager to furnish and accessorize homes. These people know how to highlight spaces and appeal to potential buyers, which often leads to multiple offers above asking price. Experts say that a sparse, modern look appeals most to those in the market. 

According to the pros, here are some things sellers can do to help showcase their homes, whether they live in a condo in San Francisco or a home in Marin:

1. Reduce clutter

Buyers appreciate and are drawn to tidy, organized spaces. Go through your home and dispose of those items that are unneeded, either by selling, storing, donating or disposing of them. Ensure counter tops, bookshelves, cabinets and each room overall is neat and clutter-free.

2. Clear out closets

Yes, people walking through your home will look inside your closets. By cleaning out bedroom, linen and coat closets, these storage spaces will look tidy, organized and feel more spacious.

3. Paint

A fresh coat of neutral paint does wonders for giving your home a bright, clean appearance and is considered by many pros to be 'the best investment a seller can spend on staging their home'.

Neutral paint, contemporary furniture, and simple accents showcases this home's living room.

Neutral paint, contemporary furniture, and simple accents showcases this home's living room.

4. Accent walls

While not necessary, accenting one main wall in a bold color or with wallpaper adds visual interest. Be mindful to choose a color or wallpaper pattern that will be appealing. If you're unsure, best to ask for advice or forego this step. 

5. Remove (most) personal photos and knickknacks

It's acceptable to keep a few personal photos and knickknacks around, choose them wisely. Keep the declutter rule in mind and always remove items that include personal information, such as names and college information. A pleasant family photo here and there is perfectly fine but keep in mind potential buyers want to be able to envision their families in your home.

6. Don't make your home look staged

Trite staging tricks like the breakfast tray at the foot of the bed appear too contrived. Go for pleasing, simple furniture arrangement, attractive artwork, basic accessories and tidy spaces that make your house look and feel like a home.

7. Contemporary furniture

Most buyers appreciate a more modern look, so if your home has a lot of traditional pieces that are bulky, ornate or 'old', put those in storage and rent or buy more contemporary pieces.

8. New towels and linens

Crisp, clean linens on the beds and fluffy towels in the bathrooms are an inexpensive way to add color and impart a feeling of luxury.

9. Skip the scent

Many people have aversions to scents, so it is wise to avoid lighting candles, using air fresheners or doing anything that could impart an odor that a prospective buyer might find offensive.

Article excerpt from the NY Times.